A buffet to beat all buffets a la Okinawa style
Healthy eating can make a healthy life. Traditional cuisine is often touted as proof of that in Okinawa which boasts one of the world’s highest life expectancies.
Contrary to what some might think, however, one local eatery is evidence that you needn’t sacrifice taste to reap that reward.
Daikon no Hana in Okinawa City offers more than 40 traditional “healthy” Okinawan dishes a la all-you-can-eat every day for lunch and dinner. However, the fare here is designed to be more than just healthy. This restaurant’s motto is “healthy AND delicious.”
It boasts cuisine that is served up buffet style made, whenever possible, with fresh organic vegetables grown by local farmers. And with a name like Daikon no Hana, which means radish flower, you can expect the food will be as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.
Upon arrival, you will see a huge selection of food on display with a variety of colorful vegetables on a big buffet table. This is the great place to experiment with a variety of local foods.
Patrons are given large wooden trays to load with their food selections. The trick is not to take too much of each of your first choices because you’ll want to try as many of the different foods as possible. You can come back to the buffet table as often as you like. And meat lovers needn’t fret the focus on organic vegies.
Although most of the dishes are mainly vegie, there are also options such as American-style roast beef, pork, fried chicken nuggets and fish. Other dishes on offer include sushi, tempura, pigs’ feet and Okinawan soba, all amid various vegetable dishes that are stewed, fried or served in soups and salads, etc.
Daikon no Hana also has its own house-made sausages, tofu and fresh salad dressings. And several different kinds of hot and cold teas as well as juices are all included in the buffet. Then there’s dessert.
The dessert corner is said to be a customer favorite. Tropical fruits, a chocolate fountain, cakes, jellies and ice creams are available to make your meal complete. It will likely also be a delight to any kids you have in tow.
Given the size and scope of this all-you-can-eat buffet, the price is quite reasonable, too.
Lunch costs 1,560 yen (about $12.70) for adults, 800 yen for elementary school age youth and 450 yen for young children age 4 and up. Dinner is 1,950 yen, 1,000 yen and ¥500 yen, respectively. Ages 4 and under eat for free.
More than 30 percent of Daikon no Hana customers tend to be foreigners, according to one staffer. So friendly English-speaking staff are usually on hand to welcome you.
The menu changes every month to ensure the use of fresh in-season organic vegetables. This also means you can return again and again without getting tired of the same menu items – and find new ones to try.
The seating capacity at Daikon no Hana is more than 170, and includes both Western and traditional Japanese options. Parking is available for 50 vehicles in front of the restaurant.
So why not grab the family or some friends and sample a cornucopia of local dishes in one sitting today?
Address: 1336-3 Misato, Okinawa City, Okinawa
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (last order 2:30 p.m.)
Dinner: 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. (last order 9 p.m.)